Treasures Off the Beaten Path
It’s important for me to spend time off the beaten path. There is something magical about experiencing things away from the herds. Maybe ironically, I feel that I belong to a community that shares this perspective. Startups, entrepreneurs, inventors, and challenger brands seek to blaze their own paths. In this community, the significance of the treasure comes as much from the adventure to find it in new places as it does from its market value.
This is what makes Logan, Utah such a special place to be an intellectual property attorney. While Logan is geographically oblique to those parts of Utah typically considered to be Silicon Slopes, it shares the same entrepreneurial wavelength. Logan, Utah is consistently ranked as one of the best places to start a business in the United States, including by the Wall Street Journal, WalletHub, Forbes, Inc.com, and others. Cache Valley Utah businesses, startups, and inventors generate intellectual property of all kinds, reflected in part by the many patents that are issued and trademarks registered to them.
One of the things that makes Logan so special is that it holds a community that values work-life balance. “Yes, You Can Be More Than Your Job Title” by Rachel Feintzeig in this week’s Wall Street Journal speaks to this subject. The article reminds us that carving out space separate from work grows our identity and brings happiness and meaning. Balance improves job performance too. If I am balanced and calibrated, I’m a much better intellectual property attorney. On the other hand, if work is all I do, my brain turns to mush. In the WSJ article, Ms. Feintzeig writes that exercise is one of her carveouts. Amen to that. I owe a large part of my sanity to garage gym workouts and bike infusions. And Utah’s outdoors.
Every spring, I pilgrimage to Moab, Utah to commune with nature among sandstone formations. This year, I followed that mojo south in a separate trip. Here are a few of the treasures I discovered off that beaten path:
16 Room House
16 Room House is a Pueblo III, Mesa Verde-style Anasazi ruin on the Navajo Nation side of the San Juan River. Without prior map work, it’s a riot to try to find. It was probably constructed in the 1200s and then left in the 1300s as part of the greater Anasazi abandonment in the region. But, it seems like the people just exited because there are still maize cobs around. It turns out they are 800 years old. The entire back wall of the ruin is lined with pictographs made from the people’s hand impressions. These signatures make this place seem hauntingly personal.
With a 268-foot span, this is the second largest bridge in the United States (after Rainbow Bridge – also in Utah). But the ratio of “payoffs” to “distance hiked” has to be one of the best in Utah: the trek is full of chutes and ladders with extra treats for the bold. Interestingly, Sipapu is the Hopi word for “place of emergence” or the opening through which Hopi ancestors entered this world.
Hovenweep is comprised of six clusters of pueblo buildings, again from the Pueblo III era. The Square Tower group in Little Ruin Canyon is amazing, with maybe a dozen or so buildings with varying and complex architecture that, in at least one building, forms a solar calendar.
Butler Wash Ruins
This Pueblo III ruin would have been a ridiculously fanciful place to live. It’s set deep within a wash and right across from a high natural bridge. The main complex is set in a high alcove that is directly above another giant alcove below it. Rain events create waterfalls over several of the alcove openings.
Whether you are lucky enough to be Logan, Utah intellectual property attorney, a Logan, Utah small business, a Utah adventurer, or just a distant admirer, may your journeys always take you appropriately off the beaten path.
“True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding the true path for ourselves, and fearlessly following it.” Mahatma Gandhi